#DailyDevotion Overcome Your Temptations With The Gospel
James 1:12–18 12 Blessed is the man who endures patiently when he is tested. When he passes the test, he will receive the crown of life God promised those who love Him. 13When you’re tempted, don’t say, “God is tempting me.” God can’t be tempted to do wrong, and He doesn’t tempt anyone. 14Everyone’s own desire tempts him, draws him away, and tries to trap him. 15When desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin grows up, it gives birth to death. 16 Don’t make a mistake, my dear Christian friends. 17Every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18As He wanted it, He gave birth to us by the Word of truth so we would be the first and best of His creatures.
So, if you think by becoming a Christian everything is going to start going easy for you, you couldn’t be more gravely mistaken. You have become an enemy of Satan and the world. You still live in the world. Even your own flesh is not your friend. You are going to be tested, experience trials and be tempted. But you have these words, this promise to help you to hold fast to your faith in Christ, “Blessed” and you “will receive the crown of life,” This is nothing new. Jesus promised you’d be blessed in the Beatitudes if you endure. Peter writes in his first epistle, 16 “This delights you, although now for a little while you may have had to suffer various trials. 7Gold is tested by fire, and your faith, when it is tested, should be found to be much more precious than gold, which perishes. This is how you will have praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears again.” Jesus says in Rev. 3 11“Cling to what you have and don’t let anyone take your crown. 12Be victorious, and I will make you a pillar in the temple of My God, and you will never leave it again. I will write on you the name of My God and the name of the city of My God — the new Jerusalem coming down from My God in heaven – and My new name.” Paul writes in 2 Cor. 4, 17 “The light trouble of this moment is preparing for us an everlasting weight of glory, greater than anything we can imagine.”
Now it is not God who tempts you and puts you in all sorts of trials. Remember you are in enemy territory and an enemy of Satan and the world. James also speaks here of our temptations to sin. Now God most certainly does not tempt you to sin. But then is the source of our temptation to sin? Your desire. The Greek word is epithumia, in the Latin concupiscentia, in the negative sense we translate lust or covetousness. When we desire to get something in a way God has forbidden that is sinful. Adam and Even desired to be like God by eating the fruit. They were already made in his image and likeness. Such desire gives birth to sin if not checked. But the way to overcome temptation is not by the Law, but the Gospel. The Gospel here is “Every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights.” In Psalm 37 it is written, 4“Delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desire.” Remember, God is not keeping anything good from you and gives you all good things. Remember you are children of God as James says, “He gave birth to us by the Word of truth so we would be the first and best of His creatures.” In Matthew 7 Jesus reminds us our evil Fathers give us good things. How much more will our Holy and Good Father in heaven give us his Holy Spirit and all good things if we ask him? So when tempted by your desires, turn to your Father in prayer, believe you are his child, believe he will provide you will all good things, and trust that he has done so.
Heavenly Father, you are the giver of all good gifts. Give us your Holy Spirit that we may desire good things and receive them from you for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.